BHOPAL : There is nothing new about tainted persons finding their way into the personal staff of Ministers in the state. In the past, the personal staffs of several ministers have faced charges of corruption.
Dhanraj Yadav, former officer on special duty (OSD) to Governor Ramnaresh Yadav, Prem Prasad, former personal assistant (PA) to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and OP Shukla, former OSD to former minister Laxmikant Sharma, who was arrested by STF in the recent past, are some such examples.
Chauhan, in a cabinet meeting, issued instructions to ministers to be careful while appointing their personal staff. There have been several instances in the past when ministers had to face allegations of corruption, courtesy their personal staff.
Mayank Shroti, PA to energy minister Rajendra Shukla was caught red handed by Lokayukta while accepting bribe from a travel agent. Shroti was with Shukla for a long time.
When Paras Jain was minister for food and civil supplies, his PA Rajendra Bhutda was charged with taking bribe.
A food inspector had allegedly committed suicide as Bhutda was asking him to cough up a huge amount of money. Although, Jain removed Bhutda from his personal staff but the allegations dented his image.
Public works minister Sartaj Singh, without obtaining a formal government order, had appointed a retired engineer BL Khare in his personal staff. Pradeep Jain, who was earlier in Singh’s staff, was removed on charges of corruption.
Former minister Jagdish Devda was not made a minister this time and his former PA Rajendra Gurjar is said to be the main reason behind him being deprived of a ministerial berth. Gurjar was suspected to be involved in the scam of recruitment of transport inspectors.
Former minister Ranjana Baghel’s personal secretary Arun Nigam is also facing charges of corruption. Despite allegations being proved against Nigam, Baghel did not remove him from his personal staff. Baghel could not become minister as there were complaints of corruption against her PS.
Vijay Nigam posted in the staff of former minister Jagannath Singh was removed on corruption charges. Former minister Ramkrishna Kusmaria had appointed Umesh Singh, who was an officer of state police service, as his OSD but Singh was later removed following complaints.
Similarly when Kusum Mehdale was minister of women and child development, her PA Rajput had faced several corruption charges.